Thousands of farmers throughout the world vindicate the role of Family Farming, through simultaneous activities

Civil Society organisations in the five continents these days will assert the role which Family Farming carries out in the well-being and development of countries, through simultaneous activities that will be held in more than 20 countries on the occasion of the launching of the International Year of Family Farming IYFF-2014. The official act will take place on 22 November in the headquarters of the United Nations in New York, in a ceremony which will reveal the value of Family Farming in the fight against Hunger and Poverty.

For the World Rural Forum (WRF), coordinator of the Civil Society programme for the IYFF-2014 and promoter of its declaration, together with more than 360 organisations in five continents, the launching of this International Year opens up a unique opportunity to promote public policies in favour of the development of Family Farming, whose role and potential as guarantor of food security is not sufficiently acknowledged.

A delegation of the WRF -consisting of its Executive Secretary, José María Zeberio, and the Coordinator of the IYFF-2014 Civil Society Programme, José Antonio Osaba- will participate at the official launching in New York, together with top representatives of the United Nations, FAO, IFAD and various national governments.

For their part, agricultural organisations, NGOs, research centres and other entities, grouped in national committees; throughout this week are organising activities under the slogan IYFF-2014: Feeding the world, Caring for the Earth. Thousands of farmers and citizens will participate in fairs, press conferences, seminars and marches to vindicate the role of men and women who work the land and sea.

Among other examples, various agricultural fairs will be held in countries such as Slovakia, El Salvador and Colombia. Thanks to the impetus of the respective national committees of the IYFF-2014, family farmers in New Zealand will meet with members of the national parliament while there will be press conferences in the Philippines, the United States, Burkina Faso and Spain. The National Committee of the IYFF-2014 in Uganda has prepared an important launching event with a festive march and exhibition as well as a presidential talk on Family Farming. The government of Costa Rica will also be present at the launching while in Brazil the IYFF-2014 will be at the forefront during the commemoration of the 50 anniversary of CONTAG.

Strengthening Family Farming is the most efficient means to combat Hunger and Poverty. 70% of the food consumed in the world is produced by Family Farming, in all its diversity, and 40% of the families in the world live from this activity.

“The most effective way to combat Hunger and Malnutrition is to produce food near the consumers, precisely what Family Farming does, not the large itinerant investors”, explains Jose Antonio Osaba (WRF), Coordinator of the IYFF-2014 Civil Society Programme. In his opinion, to strengthen the work of the millions of family farmers in the world (nearly 2,500 million people in rural areas live from agriculture in developing countries) it is necessary for countries to guarantee “the protected access to land, water, sea and other natural resources). In addition, “the right of people to produce their own food” needs to be acknowledged.